Be smart and safe online – a resource for deaf young people

Posted on 07 March 2016

This new resource, launched by the National Deaf Children's Society in collaboration with Childnet, aims to help deaf young people aged 11-16 to stay safe online.

It contains 3 practical lesson plans on the topics of sexting, safe social networking and cyberbullying. It also has an information flyer for young people, as well as information for concerned parents.

Deaf young people can often miss out on receiving key e-safety advice, such as informal learning with their peers in the playground chatting about the internet, but also, many deaf young people have low literacy levels making installing privacy settings confusing. Moreover, deaf young people can often be taken out of important PSHE classes in order to get additional help in other subjects, which results in them lacking in key e-safety knowledge. Research also shows that deaf young people can be more at risk of cyberbullying as they may misinterpret online posts or they may not understand the subtleties of online etiquette.

These lesson plans were designed with deaf young people in mind, to address their potential gaps in knowledge about internet safety. The activities aim to get young deaf people talking about their internet use in a positive way, but also to educate them on the potential risks that can occur, such as sexting and cyberbullying. In the different lesson plans, they will look at different social media posts and assess if the post was ‘banter’ or if it could be construed as bullying. Most importantly, the lesson plans guide the teacher to ensure deaf young people know what they need to do to be safe online, such as where to go for help and how to install privacy settings.

Although this resource aims specifically to help young deaf people, these lesson plans can be easily adapted to be used in mainstream settings. Alternatively, the activities can be expanded or shortened to be used in 1:1 settings or in small groups.

The lesson plans, along with the worksheets and supporting teacher notes, can be found here. The flyer summarising the key e-safety points for young deaf people is here and the information for concerned parents is on the NDCS website.

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